By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, May 10 (PNA) – Senator Grace Poe became the first presidential candidate to concede to frontrunning Rodrigo Duterte as the Davao City mayor’s lead has ballooned to five million based on the partial and unofficial results of the presidential race.
Poe announced her decision late Monday night in a press conference at the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) headquarters at Scout Borromeo in Quezon City moments after she called up Duterte as show of respect and recognition to democracy.
”Ako si Grace Poe at naging kandidato para sa pagkapangulo ngayong 2016 ay nagbibigay-daan kay Rodrigo Duterte na siyang maliwanag na nangunguna sa kasalukuyang bilangan at siyang napili ng nakararami sa ating mga kababayan,” Poe said in a press statement she read before the mediamen.
”Bilang isang masidhing tagapagtaguyod ng repormang pang-eleksyon, matatag ang paniniwala ko sa boses at kalooban ng ating taumbayan. Iginagalang ko ang resulta ng ating halalan,” she added.
Poe congratulated Duterte and promised her cooperation for the healing of the nation and for the progress of the country.
Poe said her camp made a good and clean fight, staying away from mudslinging despite attacks thrown against her particularly the disqualification cases.
”Mga minamahal kong kababayan, naging malupit ang tatlong buwan ng kampanya at higit pa doon, kung bibilangin niyo, ang umpisa kung kailan ako naghayag sa aking desisyon na tumakbo bilang pangulo,” the lady senator said.
”Ipinagmamalaki kong sabihin na ako, ang aking pangkat, ang aking mga tagasuporta ay hindi nawalan kailanman ng pananalig. Naniniwala kami sa mga adbokasiyang aking isinusulong para sa ating mga kababayan. Lumaban kami nang malinis at patas,” Poe said.
Poe said she has no regret that she participated the race for the highest position in the land “because we did our best.”
Poe was with her husband Neil and son Ryan, supporters and friends including her high school classmates when she faced the media members.
Duterte reportedly confirmed that Poe called him up to announce her decision to concede the presidential race.
Poe said she informed her running mate Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero and campaign manager Ace Durano about her decision to concede to Duterte.
Escudero is running fourth behind Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., congresswoman Leni Robredo and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
Based on the partial and unofficial results from Commission on Elections (Comelec) Transparency Server as of midnight, Duterte has already 13,888,448 votes followed by Roxas (8,249,253), Poe (7,856,739), Jejomar Binay (4,634,123) and Miriam Defensor-Santiago (1,294,256).
In the vice presidential race, Marcos has 12,320,343 votes while Robredo is getting closer with 12,082,538 votes followed by Cayetano (4,945,749), Escudero (4,115,525), Antonio Trillanes IV (712,374) and Gringo Honasan (629,768 votes. (PNA)